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How restaurants can use Facebook to increase sales through greater customer loyalty

It’s easy to set up a Facebook Page, but how do you know it’s working for your business? One way is to use the page as a loyalty program “fan club” to increase sales from repeat customers. This is what restaurants in Singapore are beginning to do.

For example, at Rock and Ash, close to 30% of revenue now comes from loyal customers, a big increase from 5% prior to the fan club.

In order to generate such robust repeat business, the first step is to encourage a majority of customers to join the fan club and LIKE the Rock and Ash Facebook Page. This is achieved by offering a permanent discount to members, much like a loyalty card program.

However, unlike traditional programs, it’s easier to grow the member base because fan clubs are social by design, connecting directly to the restaurant’s existing page on Facebook, and creating opportunities for word of mouth engagement with friends of customers.

“Before launching the fan club, we got 200 fans in six months,” said Mr Chua, owner of Rock and Ash. 

“Now, one year after launching the club, we are close to 2,000 fans, and most of them are actual repeat customers.”

With such a large number of customers now fans, Mr Chua is able to engage them on a daily basis and encourage repeat visits.

“Our Facebook Page is like a newsletter on steroids,” said Mr Chua. “Updates appear on fans’ newsfeeds where they can comment, like and even share updates with their friends.”

“It’s very easy to post photos and I can easily do it via my smartphone,” said Mr Chua. “My posts are related to meal times and tea breaks. I post food images from my menu to remind fans it is lunchtime. I post images of my specialty coffee and drinks in the afternoon to remind fans that they can visit my cafe during their breaks.”
Mr Chua also found that engaging fans with simple giveaways, such as a small order of fries, helps get customers to return and spend more.

“When these fans come to the restaurant to redeem their small fries, they tend to purchase another large fries or a drink,” said Mr Chua. 

“Most of the time, they will bring friends and end up ordering our sets for their complete meals.”

Mr Chua considered other forms of social marketing but decided against it.

“Without the fan club, I would have to spend money on other types of marketing which are more expensive and don't encourage repeat business,” said Mr Chua. “I expect that sales would be dramatically lower if not for our fan club.”

For more information on launching your own Fan Club, please fill the form below. 


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